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Archive for April, 2011

Carrying Rocks?

So…what’s wrong with this picture? These men and women are all dressed up and carrying ROCKS! Think of the weight that must be on their shoulders as they hike up this mountain in the heat of the sun with no one to help them lift the pressure off their backs.

What kind of rocks are you carrying? Feelings of pain, regret, disappointment, discouragement, shame and grief are not feelings that we have to shoulder alone. Through our Savior Jesus Christ, we can be liberated, purified and cleansed. We can essentially become new creatures in Christ. We can make “U-turns” and never go back.

But, how?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ invites all men and women everywhere to repent. The word repentance can seem scary and daunting and can be seen as a process for only our really bad sins and mistakes. But, in the Bible dictionary it teaches us that repentance “denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about oneself and about the world[…] Repentance comes to mean a turning of the heart and will to God.” It isn’t so scary as the results of repentance are an increased feeling of love, peace, joy, happiness, confidence, strength, purity and weightlessness.

Alma the Younger, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, was a pretty bad guy and was even termed as the “vilest of all sinners.” He experienced a change of heart through faith in Jesus Christ leading to repentance. He testifies that “There could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.” Alma 36:21 (page 299)

So, if Alma the Younger, the VILEST of all sinners can be cleansed from his sins, is it possible for us to be purified too?

I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that through His gospel we can be transformed. His arms of mercy are extended to all of us and if we will come, he will heal us.

Visit: www.mormon.org

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Genetics

Why is it important to know that we are literal children of God? Does knowing that we have a Father with flesh and bones who emmulates perfection really do much for us?

I’ve thought about this a lot in the past couple of months and have tried to figure out why that knowledge is important. I came to a better understanding when I related my relationship with my Heavenly Father to my relationship to my earthly parents.

Since today is a special day, my Mom’s birthday, I think it would be appropriate to talk a little bit about her.

My mom is an incredible woman with some of the finest personality traits, talents and abilities. Here are some of the things I love and admire about her.

My mom:

  • Loves to learn
  • Is dedicated to my family
  • Is faithful to the gospel and has a strong testimony
  • Works hard
  • Is dependable
  • Loves me unconditionally
  • Rarely complains
  • Loves to create beautiful things
  • Is always supportive of doing good
  • Endures challenges and trials and never gives up
  • Is a great writer (I love her letters)
  • Puts on the best parties and gatherings
  • Helps others feel welcomed and comfortable
  • Is confident in and believes in me
  • Is trustworthy
  • Loves to laugh and isn’t afraid to laugh at herself
  • Loves to have fun (we body boarded some good waves in our time)
  • Sacrifices her will to make others happy
  • Is a strong woman
  • Loves to talk
  • Is a great listener
  • Takes great pride in her family
  • Is a great cook
  • Is patient
  • Is confident
  • Has a strong testimony of prayer
  • Expresses her love and appreciation
  • Is a true friend
  • Is optimistic
  • Is encouraging
  • Has great wisdom and advice
  • Is INCREDIBLE

I love my mom and aspire to become more like her. Because I know who my mom is, what her talents and gifts are and what she is capable of, it helps me to see more clearly what I have the potential of becoming. I am a product of my mom and my dad (I have a great list about him too) and they are a part of me. I know that if I work at developing the positive character traits that I admire in my mom, then I can become more like her…because she already is a part of me. After all, I have Patti Maughan’s genes!

So, what does this have to do with our Heavenly Father?

Well, just like I have genes from my earthly parents, I have inherited my spiritual genes from my Heavenly Father. He is a perfect father in every way. By coming to know who He is and who Jesus Christ is, I can gain a greater understanding of my potential to become more like them.

My Heavenly Father is someone I can relate to. Because He has a body of flesh and bones, I know that when I kneel to pray, I’m not praying to a blob of space, but rather a man who knows, understands, and loves me with a perfect love. He wants the best for me and is always on my side–even though at times it may not seem that way.

We are children of God and we do have potential to become like Him.  Now, do we really know what that means?

I know that these things are true. How does this knowledge affect you?

Visit:

http://mormon.org/plan-of-happiness/#e

Happy Birthday Mom!

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Are You Listening?

When was the last time you ordered Pizza? What was the conversation like? Did you call Mark’s Pizzeria and say “Hey! I want two large pepperoni pizzas delivered to my house,” and then hang up the phone immediately without a response? Surely, you’d want to have the pizza man to ask for your address, tell you how much it would cost you and then notify you of the time you’d spend anxiously awaiting the delicious meal. If you hung up the phone right away, the process wouldn’t be complete.

Now, think about the last time you talked to your Father in Heaven.  Did you check in and tell him all the things you’re grateful for, ask for some help, then hang up the phone without taking time to listen to the answer in return? Our world is constantly clamoring for our attention with noise so loud there is no way that we can possibly hear what He is trying to tell us.

Answers do not come in lightning bolts or thunderstorms.The Prophet Elijah was seeking for an answer to his prayer and it came in an unexpected way.

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still, small voice.”

1 Kings 19:11-12

To get answers to our prayers, we must take time to listen when the Lord is trying to speak. He will answer if we will but listen. So, lets take some time to ponder, to reflect, to turn off the noise of the world and hear what the Lord has to teach us. Answers do come as we patiently seek the Lord in faith. The Lord loves to guide us if we will let him.

“Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers.” (Doctrine and Covenants 112:10)

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How would you eat an Elephant? Where would you start and at what pace would you chomp away? How long do you think it would take you?

Eating an Elephant is quite a daunting task. I can’t imagine trying to accomplish it all in one day. First of all…it would probably wouldn’t taste very good and secondly, I don’t think my stomach could handle it. So, rather than expecting to complete the task in one day, I think I’d give myself a couple of years to work on it.

Reaching perfection is like eating a gigantic elephant, it takes time, consistency, effort and patience. Becoming who our Father in Heaven desires for us to become is work and requires patience. So, how do we get there?

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma teaches us how to approach perfection and eternal glory.

“Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.” –Alma 37:6-7

So, by SMALL and SIMPLE things do great and marvelous things come to pass. What are some of these small and simple things that can help us along our way?

Fervent heartfelt prayer. A young 8 year old boy we’re teaching, taught me that Christ was crucified for me so I can get down on my knees and pray. I’d have to agree.

Read the scriptures. This is our Heavenly Father’s map of directions. It’s the evidence that He still loves us!

Have you ever thought…if I don’t read or pray today what difference will it make? Its just one day.

Every little thing helps us along our way to get back to our Heavenly Father. So, if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere…just remember that its the small things that have a huge impact on our journey to perfection.

“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” –Richard G. Scott

Lets do the small things and patiently watch as the Lord refines us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that He is the master refiner. If we can just put all our trust in Him and do what He asks, we will find that He can make more out of us than we can on our own. I know these things are true!

Visit: www.mormon.org

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What does our Savior and Redeemer mean to you? Who is He and what did His sacrifice do for you? Many people in the world know who Jesus Christ is but sometimes we do not understand the magnitude of what He experienced and how it applies to us.

We are all Children of God. Our Heavenly Father sent us here to Earth to learn and to grow and to be strengthened through our experiences. Our Heavenly Father’s plan was to bring all of us back into His presence but we had to be perfectly clean in order to come back. But, because we make mistakes every single day, and live in a world that is full of wickedness, we needed a way to rise above all of the filth and be made clean. We couldn’t do it on our own and so our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ to live a perfect life so that when we make mistakes, He could lift the guilt and shame from us and we could be made whole again. He has the power to reach down and pull us out of our lowest lows and lift us to experience the highest highs. Not only did he suffer for our mistakes but for our pains as well. Heartache, sadness, loneliness, disappointment and discouragement can all be overcome through our Savior Jesus Christ. He walked the road each of us walk to bring us genuine strength. Who better to comfort us than someone who has experienced the very things we experience?

So, how do we feel this healing and comforting power that comes through our Savior Jesus Christ? If we kneel down a

nd pray, pour out our hearts and souls to Him and seek for His love and then do what He asks of us, we will feel a burden lifted from us. We will be able to receive strength and feel His loving arms surround us that will bring us more comfort than any thing else.
I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He loves each and every one of us. I am so grateful for the power that His sacrifice brings into my life. This hymn, “Where Can I Turn for Peace” is my favorite and describes what the Savior has done for me.

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When, with a wounded heart, anger, or malice
I draw myself apart searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows?
Where, when I languish?
Where, in my need to know?

Where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

He answers privately.
Reaches my reaching.
In my Gethsemane, Savior, and friend.
Gentle, the peace He finds
For my beseeching.
Constant He is, and kind.

Love without end.

I know that if we reach for the Savior’s hand and allow Him to take over the pains and the burdens we carry that He will lighten our load. He is there. Trust and believe Him. He will never fail us.

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